Who’s going to replace Scheer?

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on December 13, 2019

In the aftermath of Scheer’s, Conservative members will revert to campaign mode to select a new leader.

It would seem appropriate that the next leader is going to have a different personality from the former leader. And already several names come to mind as competent replacements, whether they plan to run or not.

But first, let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room: Bernier.


Maxime Bernier has declared on Twitter that he would not rejoin the Conservative party, having split after his second-place finish in the 2017 leadership campaign. Bernier has since burned several bridges within the Conservative party, having competed as part of the People’s Party of Canada.

So Bernier is out.

Peter MacKay

Peter MacKay, who is not known for his subtly as of late, is positioning himself for a chance at the leadership.

“It was like having an open net and missing the net,” he said of Scheer’s campaign. Though, he later walked back on his remarks and voted to keep Scheer as leader shortly after.


As the former Deputy Leader of the party, Mackay wields significant influence within party ranks. He has also been a minister under four different portfolios, including Foreign Affairs and National Defence.

It would appear that MacKay’s preemptive aggression towards Scheer made him out to be the anti-Scheer leadership candidate, as well as a party outsider from the Stephen Harper days.

Although his actions were quite brazen, MacKay, as a party leader, is possible.

Rona Ambrose

Naturally, Rona Ambrose was well-liked by the party during her tenure as the interim leader. She commanded respect and led the team valiantly after Harper’s resignation in 2015.

However, her disadvantage lies in not being a current serving MP, and, perhaps, her lack of appeal to blue Conservatives as a “red-tory.”


Nevertheless, Ambrose received a near-official endorsement for leadership by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Garnering support from Conservative strongholds in the Canadian midwest is a significant asset.

Thus, Ambrose would have a solid chance at leadership.

Erin O’Toole

As the MP for Durham and the Conservative’s Foreign Affairs critic, Erin O’Toole is another big name who seems the next most logical choice as a leader.

Finishing third-place finish in the leadership race, O’Toole is arguably the best bet following Bernier’s departure from the party.


Though an Ambrose run would hinder his chances, as he had lost the interim leadership contest to her when Harper stepped down, as a veteran Conservative, Erin O’Toole would be hard to overshadow these days.

Brad Trost

Another candidate for a leader would be the former MP for Saskatchewan-University, Brad Trost.


Like O’Toole, Trost was one of the last remaining candidates in the ranked ballot system, coming in fourth place with a significant portion of the social-conservative vote.

After losing the election, he faced a legal battle with the party over now retracted allegations that he leaked Conservative membership lists to the Canadian National Rifle Association. Trost was then beat in a nomination contest for his riding.

If he does run, he is unlikely to win the nomination. However, his control over the social conservative vote could sway the tide in favour of some of the candidates.

Tom Kmiec

Tom Kmiec, MP for Calgary Shepard, would also be a solid choice for leadership. Since being elected back in 2015 Kmiec has been one of the most active MPs and one of the most vocal critics against the Liberal government.


Through his criticism of and advocacy for policy on a broad range of topics, he has become one of the most well-respected Conservative MPs within the party.

Kmiec also has the advantage of being a Polish-Candian who grew up in Quebec. As a purely symbolic move, nominating him would be a great way to bridge the cultural divides between the east and the west — notably, Quebec and Alberta.

Understanding that both the east and the west is needed to form the government is a must for any Conservative to be an effective leader.

His keen political instincts would serve him well in the leadership race, in spite of his more reserved demeanour.

Pierre Poilievre

In the same vein as Tom Kmiec, Pierre Poilievre is considered one of the most capable people to run for leadership. However, he rejected the premise of a leadership bid.

Nevertheless, Poilievre has been an MP for Carleton since 2004 and is undoubtedly one of the most memorable voices from the Conservative bench due to his well-spoken critiques as the Finance Critic.


Just yesterday, Poilievre stood up during the question period to go after Prime Minister Trudeau on the topic of his perceived “self-praise,” a politically savvy move that positions him for a strong start to a leadership campaign

Also, he has done considerable work in politics before his current role, having done policy work for Stockwell Day and Jason Kenney, dating back to the Canadian Alliance Party.

Under Harper’s Conservative government, Poilievre was the Minster for the State of Election Reform (2013-2015) and Employment and Social Development (2015).

Despite an impressive resume, opponents would quickly point out his lack of private sector experience as a weak point.

David Yurdiga

Finally, the last person to highlight is David Yurdiga, MP for Fort McMurray – Cold Lake, who may be lesser known nationally, but who’s political style and advantageous position could be a deadly combo if he were to enter a leadership race.


Mr. Yurdiga has always been outspoken on behalf of his constituents, and in particular, appeals to the alienated Albertan and the Conservative base in Western Canada. In interviews, Yurdiga’s honest and blunt delivery is a perfect contrast to the subtle and mannered style of Andrew Scheer. Many Conservatives may want a more hard-nosed politician who is more than happy to rustle some feathers.

Yurdiga is not the only western Canadian politician like this, Kenney would be a close comparison, but either he or someone close to him could inspire the Conservative base once again.

These, of course, are just a few of the many people who may throw their hat into the upcoming leadership race.

Right now, there is no clear direction on which way the wind is blowing for the Conservative Party of Canada, but one thing’s for sure — there’s no lack of quality in the race to succeed Andrew Scheer as a  party leader.

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

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